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RED ELLEN AND I

RED ELLEN AND I

  I went to see ‘Red Ellen’, at the Lyceum yesterday; it told some of the story of Ellen Wilkinson, working class MP for Jarrow and main organiser of ‘The March for Jobs’, the North East Crusade for Work. Wilkinson operated on many fronts, trying to liberate

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BELFAST – A GENEROUS MEMORY

BELFAST – A GENEROUS MEMORY

My grandfather was the most important male influence on my early childhood; he was a cooper and my recall of him working in his shed remains  vivid. My memories of Derry at the time are of walks by the Faughan where he fished  and visits from his

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BLOODY SUNDAY FIFTY YEARS ON

BLOODY SUNDAY FIFTY YEARS ON

However, Lord Saville was selective in his apportioning of responsibility; he evaded pointing a finger at the UK’s highest  military officer, despite the evidence of his involvement in the  cover-up; he did not cite those who had discussed and planned the security arrangements for the event at the highest levels of Government but rather he blamed the massacre exclusively on those who had  fired the fatal shots, the squaddies, the lower orders, the deplorables.
It was both a class and a political decision.

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CELEBRATIING IRISH PARTITION – A PERVERSION

CELEBRATIING IRISH PARTITION – A PERVERSION

The Nationalist population was meticulously marginalised in daily life and prevented from functioning as citizens of the State. Those changes for the better that have occurred in the last fifty years, result not from political change of direction by Unionism but are the product leverage by Westminster in response to the demands of the Civil Rights Movement. Legislative change was happening in all these areas before a shot was fired .

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JUSTICE DENIED – AGAIN

JUSTICE DENIED – AGAIN

Willie McKinney was shot in the back as he sought cover and he died on the courtyard of Glenfada Park. He was twenty-six years old and, to all who knew him, a peaceful, model citizen. His story encapsulates the sickening horror of Bloody Sunday; this hard-working and kindly, young person was murdered in broad daylight on the streets of his own City by British State forces. Had it happened in Brighton, Cardiff or Perth , there would have been an immediate , judicial inquiry and those responsible brought swiftly to justice.

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COLUMBA , MAN AND MYTH

COLUMBA , MAN AND MYTH

For years, the people of St Columb’s Wells annually painted and decorated with quasi religious regalia the outside walls of their little houses to mark the feast day and were foremost in the religious procession to the Church on the feast day. There was a street well to whose waters were attributed healing powers ; when it ran dry during the long hot summer of 1976, under cover of darkness, a pipe was furtively rigged to the mains and many the following day proclaimed it a miracle.

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Back to the Music

Back to the Music

Christie Hennessy whose life ended so tragically and prematurely; an undiagnosed dyslexic, Christie left school at twelve years old and worked with his father around Tralee before taking the well trodden road to London building sites and demolition work where he spent the next twenty years. He was always interested in words and melody and wrote his songs by recording them with a tape recorder

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McCann’s the Man who lost a bus

McCann’s the Man who lost a bus

In the first couple of weeks after training, McCann managed to mislay his ticket machine, clippers, uniform jacket and money bag. For the most part, these were dismissed by his supervisors , the inspectors as youthful carelessness. The regular driving force were often dismissive of the students’ mistakes with a shrug about the waste of education.

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TWO DERRY MUSICIANS TELL THEIR TALES

TWO DERRY MUSICIANS TELL THEIR TALES

There are some similarities in their early childhood and school days in Derry but the differences are much more remarkable. A policeman’s son, Coulter grew up in the modest comfort of a terraced house on the perimeter of what became Bogside in the late sixties ; Cassidy’s father was a successful publican who bought an elegant mansion , complete with tennis court, landscaped gardens and stables on the outskirts of the City. The purchase was controversial since the area was designated a Unionist fiefdom but crafty, old Cassidy bought it in a sealed auction.

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